Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator Skip to content

Ship's Log, Jan. 19: Why can't we watch preseason?

Once again, it looks like Sounders fans won't be able to watch their team in preseason.

Last Updated
4 min read
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

MLS preseasons are a mess.

They don't take place in a single region, nor in the home towns of the teams. Instead preseason for MLS sides are scattered across continents, against opponents in dozens of leagues.

Some teams make a spectacle of it – MLS and LA Galaxy once invented a tournament in Hawaii just to get more eyes on Beckham. This year D.C. United is making a four-team swing through Saudi Arabia. And Inter Messi? Well, their preseason is going to be on and MLS Season Pass as they effectively circle the globe.

The Miami schedule is practically made-for-TV. National teams like El Salvador and Hong Kong will make massive amounts of money just to glimpse Barca v.20.24. The two Saudi clubs will get a month's worth of attendance from matches that are meaningless. Dallas? They'll get a month's attendance too. They're moving back into the Cotton Bowl especially for that game.

Seattle's preseason competition is concentrated on avoiding the frozen rain of Puget Sound in midwinter.

In Spain the opponents are starting to come to clarity – though no matches are official yet.

Serbian side FK TSC Bačka Topola, Swedish team IFK Norrköping, Danish club Odense Boldklub have all said they're playing the Sounders. None of these are expected to be available via stream, unless the Sounders' opponents make them available

You won't even get to see the stars of tomorrow's Sounders via a 420p feed from someone's spotty phone – this isn't the 2012 US Open Cup. You'll most likely be limited to tweets, photos and a couple short highlights from the club.

This has been typical for MLS preseason for quite awhile.

It's boring and creates a disconnect between the players and their fans. Rather than the soft build-up of watching a star-to-be rake in Peoria we get the modern version of tickertape news reports filed by partisans that may or may not include a description of a goal by an 18-year-old.

Does every team need to be on MLS Season Pass with all the frills? No.

The preseason circumstances are exactly where the MLS Next Pro AI video cameras make sense. The type of people who are going to watch a preseason match will love that. It's not competitive, the perfect time to test it. They don't need a broadcaster.

We just need access to the faces we'll scream and chant for at the end of February, even if we don't know who they are.

Catching up on Sounder at Heart

Did you step away from the computer for a bit? Here are our latest stories.

Looking back at the week's news

Gavin Wilkinson is unemployed again; CITY kits are coming to MLS; Sam Mewis retires; Orlando now plays at Inter Co stadium

Statement from Principal Owner Michael Illig | Sporting Kansas City. Sporting KC responds to the fan uproar about hiring Gavin Wilkinson by unhiring him.

All Adidas 2024 MLS Third Kits to Feature City/Team Names on Front. This follows trends from the NBA and MLB.

Orlando City’s Home Stadium Gets New Name. No, they aren't named after their rivals in Miami, it just looks that way.

Three Minnesota sports stories you'd never hear, and a MNUFC one that's just as absurd. Another year with Reynoso missing, perpetual interim coaches and a GM that isn't starting for several months.

LAFC takes over fallen Swiss giant Grasshopper.

A stroke turned his World Cup into a nightmare. A medical ‘miracle’ saved his life .

She Was the World’s Best Player. Now She Won’t Play Soccer Again. The legendary Sam Mewis' knee injury ends her career earlier than anyone wanted.

FIFA aiming for Women’s Club World Cup in 2026. Will we see Reign at a Club World Cup? Hopefully.

Should the NWSL abolish the college draft? It's complicated.

Vlatko Andonovski interview: 'A moment there that I was like, ‘Do I really love this game anymore?'

Women’s football is ready for the next step – but players need help to achieve it | Ada Hegerberg.

Dazn lifts paywall on women’s football to encourage growth and investment. Some of the best women's soccer is now free.

Violence and abuse among fan culture growing concern for soccer, new research finds

Sports Illustrated to lay off most staff, putting future in jeopardy after nearly 70 years. Generations of sports journalists and fans came to the games they love because of SI. Now, it's going away.

fullpullwines This newsletter was made possible through the support of Full Pull Wines, a boutique wines reseller that has been sponsoring us since 2011. You can join their mailing list here.

If you're a business interested in supporting Sounder at Heart and independent journalism, reach out.